How to fall-proof your hair
We asked the pros how to deal with what our specific cut is looking for right now
We may not think of fall as a particularly trying time for our hair, but the truth is that it's actually when our strands are in desperate need of attention. When temperatures drop to their shocking lows, and the air gets brutally dry and crisp, it has consequences for our locks.
We tapped two top Canadian hairstylists, Jason Lee and Kirsten Klontz, to weigh in on what happens to our strands as we transition to fall, and how to best care for them in order to head into winter with our best hair ever.
Humidity, hair's biggest frenemy
Humidity can cause your hair to be frizzy in the summer, but you may actually come to miss it in the fall! "Humidity is one of those things where people like how their hair responds to it… or they don't," says Klontz. "Less humidity in the fall for some people can cause extra dryness." Lee agrees and notes, "Hair is drier and flatter, so you have to work a little harder to create volume."
There's also the issue of always-annoying, ever-present static, which Klontz reminds is why we might want to consider "a product edit". Klontz recommends leave-in conditioners and serums when transitioning from summer to fall, to replace some of the moisture that's suddenly no longer there.
Aside from everyday products, this might be the time to consider more intense treatments. "Protein treatments help rebuild the hair from the damage of the summer. In the fall, you really want to make sure you strengthen fine hair so that it can endure the harshness of more heat styling and colder temperatures," advises Lee.
Concerning cuts and curls
For curly hair types, "moisture is essential," says Lee. "Curly hair is fragile and moisture is mandatory for optimal health, so creams and moisturizing treatments should be a part of your regular routine." Curl types 3 and 4 especially need care according to Klontz, who recommends water-based products, followed by oils to keep moisture locked in and avoid breakage.
Lee says people with straight hair will notice the change in their hair's oil at this time of year. "In the summertime, hair tends to produce a lot of natural oils because we sweat more in the heat. In the fall, temperatures drop, so it's a great time for people with straight hair to get a gloss treatment for added shine. And because straight hair in the fall tends to just collapse, adding some layers in your haircut is a great option."
He goes on to recommend cuts for anyone who has put one off over the summer. "People with wavy hair need to make sure that their hair is well-groomed, as their waves will most likely need reshaping," explains Lee, noting that short hair needs an update, too, from pixie cuts to buzz cuts. "Make sure you keep adjusting it as time goes by. Right now, short haircuts are all about embracing your natural texture and aesthetic. Whether it's a K-pop-inspired cut or allowing your natural curl to define the cut."
"Typically, as summer comes to an end, hair colour ends up bleached out by the sun, causing brassiness and a loss of depth throughout hair tones," says Lee, adding that many of us notice that all of a sudden our summer-y, sun-kissed strands are now too light. "People with fine hair tend to experience a lot of fading with their hair colour," says Lee, who recommends adding depth through lowlights and/or toning the colour down. "You also have to adjust based on your skin tone in the winter," he notes, "which tends to be paler due to lack of sunshine. Softening darker tones or deepening paler tones can help in the winter months, should you be lacking in the sunshine department."
No time to head to the salon just yet? Klontz says there things you can do at home to freshen up your fall colour, like picking up DIY tinting conditioners. "[They] are gentle enough that you can use them at home. You can match them to your existing colour to maintain the tone between salon visits, and they can curb your [desire] for a change… It's an easy way to keep your colour lively between visits."
Souzan Michael is a Toronto-based writer and editor with a deep, undying love of astrology, watermelon and golden retrievers. Follow her on Instagram @suziemichael_.